Meeting new or potential clients in any setting can be nerve-wracking for even the most confident and experienced business men and women. There’s never any guarantee that you’ll get exactly what you want from the meeting, but there are ways to give yourself the best chance of establishing a good basis for future collaboration.
Here are some tips on how to approach and prepare for meetings with important new clients.
1 – Let them know what they’re in for
It’s usually a good idea to give your new clients a robust briefing on exactly what you’re going to discuss with them at your upcoming meeting and to explain how you intend to help them overcome certain challenges and achieve their aims, whatever they might be. The key here is keeping any documentation you send over to easily digestible forms, with any pages of text using bullet points and the most important issues of consideration clearly highlighted.
2 – Have your agenda ready
Regardless of whether or not you consider yourself to be a naturally charming and engaging person, your clients will want know that you have points to make and that your meeting time is being well used. So with this in mind you need to have an agenda ready ahead of your meeting so you and your client both know where you’re going and the ground you intend to cover.
3 – Be as ready as you can be
If you’ve managed to secure a meeting with a new client who you’re keen to do business with well into the future then you should always do all that you can to be as prepared as possible for whatever might come at you. So this means everything from researching the person you’re meeting with and the company they represent, to having backup plans for different scenarios or if the meeting isn’t going the way you’d hoped.
4 – Listen
Clients in any realm of business operations aren’t generally going to be steamrollered or sweet-talked into a position that isn’t in their own or their employer’s best interests. Remember you’re in the meeting for a good reason but don’t expect to have it all your own way. In short, you need to listen to what your client is actually saying and focus in on their concerns rather than rigidly sticking to the points you had in mind to make.
5 – Dress to impress
First impressions aren’t necessarily everything when it comes to business meetings but they can count for a lot and dressing smartly is very important in projecting a sense of professionalism in most cases.
6 – Don’t be distracted
Beyond dressing smartly, there are other ways in which you can present a professional and competent image of yourself as someone worth doing business with, much of which boils down to the idea of not being distracted. So that means not eating food, answering emails or phone calls, not chatting to other people without good reason and not seeming for any reason as if you have somewhere else you’d rather be.
7. Choose the right place
If you are seeking to impress location can make the world of difference. The location aspect isn’t limited solely to the building and its aesthetics either. Ease of access, prestigious locations and desirable postcodes can all have a positive influence on a new clients first image of your business.
On that note, our partners at meetingrooms.com are pretty fantastic at finding prestigious locations for the best meetings, in the best environment. Check them out!